Edwin Moses

Horst Wackerbarth

Der Fotograf Horst Wackerbarth, auf der Ringstraße 1 in der Nähe des Eissees


Horst Wackerbarth ist ein Sammler, er sammelt Schicksale.

Zentraler Teil seines Lebenswerks sind neben anderen Projekten Werke mit der Roten Couch. Seit über einem Vierteljahrhundert bereist er die Welt mit seinem Sofa, welches er in das Lebensumfeld unterschiedlicher Menschen platziert und diese darauf porträtiert.

Kinder und Alte, Arme und Reiche, Prominente und Unbekannte, Nobelpreisträger und Analphabeten in der Eiswüste Alaskas und dem Regenwald in Südamerika, in den Metropolen Europas und den Dörfern Sibiriens haben auf der Roten Couch Platz genommen.

Ziel ist, ein Porträtwerk zu schaffen, eine Galerie der Menschheit. Die Rote Couch ist dabei gemeinsamer Nenner, roter Faden, Bühne, Thron, Kommunikationsplattform zugleich.

Die Rote Couch bringt alle Menschen auf Augenhöhe!

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The Red Couch – A Gallery of Mankind vs. ELPIO Production

The Red Couch Tour - Canada 150: A Rip Off?

Does the Canadian Goverment funds copyright infringement?


Düsseldorf, Germany and Montreal, Canada, August 14, 2017


Renowned Photographer and Video Artist Horst Wackerbarth Denounces Canada 150 Red Couch Tour as an Infringement of his Rights.

Horst Wackerbarth, the renowned German photographer and video artist, has lodged a formal complaint against the Canada 150 Red Couch Tour, 

which is currently touring Canada in association with celebrations surrounding the 150th anniversary of Confederation. 

Wackerbarth states that he is “profoundly offended” by Red Couch Tour which he sees as a blatant imitation of his life’s work The Red Couch – A Gallery of Mankind.

Wackerbarth has lodged a formal complaint with the organizers of the Canada 150 Red Couch Tour, Elpio Production of Ottawa Ontario, 

as well as with Heritage Canada which has provided substantial funding to Elpio for the Red Couch Tour. 

He seeks only that he be credited for his lifework and paid reasonable compensation for the use of his work. 

His overtures have been rebuffed, negotiations for a settlement failed.


This Canadian initiative which was done without my approval is extremely upsetting to me as an artist who has invested almost 40 years of my life in 

The Red Couch – A Gallery of Mankind. This work collects people and fates. Since 1979 I have been traveling around the world with my red couch, 

which I place in a variety of peoples’ living environments and in which I portray and interview them as they are seated on or around the couch. 

My subjects are young and old, poor and rich, famous and unknown, Nobel laureates and illiterates in the ice deserts of Alaska and the rainforests of South America, 

in the big cities of Europe and in the villages of Siberia“, says Wackerbarth.My aim is to create a work which portrays a gallery of humanity. 

The red couch is a common element, recurrent theme, stage, throne and communication platform all in one," he adds. 


To this day, 989 people in 53 countries have sat down and been photographed on Wackerbarth’s Red Couch.

The Red Couch works have been published in 10 monographs, have been displayed in more than 50 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the globe,

included in 13 major collections of contemporary art. Several documentary films have been produced on Wackerbarth’s Red Couch works.

From 1979 through 2017 Wackerbarth has realized 17 Red Couch projects worldwide, including:


The Red Couch – A Portrait of America 1979 – 1983

Red Couch stories, a TV- series, 1990 – 1996

Red Couch Gallery of Mankind – Europe, 1998 – 2004 (to celebrate the enlargement of the European Community on May 1 2004)

Red Couch -, 2015 - 2016 (to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the state of NRW, Germany)


Wackerbarth’s life work The Red Couch - A Gallery of Mankind puts all people on a par.

It is a “work in progress”, a never ending story, which will only end with Wackerbarth’s death.


"Any projects I may have had to bring my Red Couch to Canada have now been jeopardized by this misappropriation of my work. 

Canada is a wonderful country and its 150th anniversary is a true cause for celebration. But I am saddened that this celebration has now been tarnished 

by these unfortunate events, that others are profiting at my expense and that the Canadian Government finances a blatant imitation" concludes Wackerbarth.




For further information, contact: Horst Wackerbarth,, phone +49-172-251-93.92